This year the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl are scheduled for January 2, not New Year’s Day.
This is actually part of the Rose Parade’s little known “Never on a Sunday” tradition. The tradition began in 1893 when New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday. Parade organizers were afraid that the parade would spook the horses located outside of churches along the parade route during Sunday services.
The “Never on a Sunday” exception has been observed ever since even though people no longer use horses to get around Pasadena. This year is the 15th time the exception has come into play.
The Rose Parade began in 1890, 12 years before the first Rose Bowl Game was first played in 1902. The bowl game was in fact created to help off-set the costs of putting on the Parade. Rose bowl games were not played on New Years Day until 1916.
The Rose Bowl Game was the first post-season football game in the nation when it was first played in 1902, but the bowl game was replaced by chariot races until 1916 after Michigan destroyed Stanford 49-0.